Royal Watch News
Mountbatten's grandson reflects on bombing
Aug 28, 2009, 11:09 GMT
The grandson of Britain's Earl Mountbatten has finally forgiven the terrorists who killed his family in 1979.
Timothy Knatchbull was just 14 years old when the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) blew up his family's boat off Mullaghmore in County Sligo.
He survived with serious shrapnel wounds, but his twin brother Nicholas, grandmother Lady Brabourne, Earl Mountbatten - an uncle of Prince Philip - and a boat hand were killed.
The bombing horrified Britain's royal family, particularly Prince Charles, who considered Mountbatten as his mentor.
To mark the 30th anniversary of the attack, Timothy has spoken about the tragic day for the first time.
The 44-year-old said: "It was a tremendously happy relaxed family holiday in the west of Ireland and we went out on a beautiful flat calm sea.
"We had only gone about a quarter of a mile when there was a really dreadful explosion and my memories of that are snatched - a sensation of the explosion and then the next thing I knew I remember being in the bottom of a boat ."
Timothy admits he has been struggling to cope with the death of his family members for years, but took solace in his remaining relatives.
He said: "I was lucky, I took a cue from others in my family who were able to get on with their lives and have a remarkable lack of bitterness and ability to heal.
"But I never had a chance to say goodbye to my dead twin Nicholas and this prevented me from really making a full mental and emotional recovery."
He also returned to the scene of the bombing to lay some "personal demons" to rest.
He told BBC Radio 4: "'I did it very quietly and very privately in 2003 and 2004 and I found that by digging deep and finding out for myself first hand who did it and how, and indeed why, I was able to get to a whole new level of forgiveness and healing."
Timothy now lives in London with his wife and five children.
He has written a book about the tragedy, entitled 'From A Clear Blue Sky', which is due to be released later this year.